Whether you’re planning ahead for next year, you’re needing activities to keep your child busy, or are just needing a little review work to keep your child’s skills on point, Boom Learning may be a great place to look. In this post, I’d like to share my observations on how Boom Cards can help your reader grow.
One of the biggest benefits of Boom Cards TM is that they can help students practice and review specific skills. The slides are considered digital task cards, and one way students use them is by dragging and dropping objects, filling in the blank, or written responses. The example to the right helps the teacher see if students are able to identify the beginning sounds of word. Once the student has sorted all of the pictures, the answer are submitted for the teacher to get a score. These can also be used on Smartboards too, so the teacher can model prior to the student using them independently. This resource comes with 25 sorting mats to choose from, so your students get LOTS of practice.
Another very helpful option for teachers is to use Boom Cards TM for modeling a specific skill. In the example above, the teacher can project the sorting mat and practice sorting each of the images by sound with students. (and this can also be done when you share your screen in Zoom meetings too. For the activity to the left, the teacher can teach his/her student the Concept of Word poem with pictures and model how we track print as we read. The teacher can project these poems and use them for other activities too such as letter identification, capitalization rules, sightword recognition, and end punctuation. The activity to the left is my Concept of Word Spring Edition Boom Cards. It has 12 poetry sets with a menu students can choose from for repeated reading and practice.
This summer, I’ve been busy tutoring a student, and one of the things his grandmother was concerned about was the fact that he didn’t have a lot of books at home and with little siblings, she wasn’t sure whether things I’d send would be safe. Well, I decided that I’d try organizing his lessons on Boom. His reading level also made it challenging to find good fit books, so I played with Boom to see if I could make eBooks that he could read on his tablet. With each lesson, I record the audio clips (mainly since I’m selling it as a lesson for other teachers, but also for him to have repeated exposure and practice). The deck is my plan. I start with the story we’re reading, follow with comprehension work, and end with word work which extends to games or other hands on things I have. They’ve worked like a dream, and he LOVES them which makes me so happy. I send a hard copy home that he can practice with his mom.
Let’s face it! Parents are busy people, and there are times when it’s good to have easy things for kids to do. Boom Cards TM can provide just what parents need. If a child’s library needs to be restocked, you can simply look for free resources for your child to use, and they’ll even learn something. THIS FREEBIE is a sample of my nursery rhymes COW bundle. Students read along with me as I read Humpty Dumpty and complete fun activities after. It’s one of MANY free resources you can try out.
Teachers normally work with small groups during the reading and math blocks of the day, and one of the biggest challenges is what do the other kids do? Centers can take a long time to set up, but if a teacher has access to iPads or laptops, then center set up is a matter of making the assignments! Each child can have up to 40 assignments in their queue, and teachers can have activities waiting in their library for assigning. Teachers can differentiate based on a child’s needs too, and since the activities are self grading, there is always accountability.
Teachers also have found that Boom Cards work well for assessing student learning. Decks can be set up with as few or as many cards as you like, so teachers can create assessments with as many questions as they like. The great thing…you get immediate feedback!
EASY TO INTEGRATE WITH OTHER PLATFORMS
With distance learning a serious probability for the fall (at least some of the time), it’ll be important to learn how to prepare for Zoom lessons or Google Meet. With Boom Cards, you can easily share the Fast Pin link with students via Google classroom. Again, you’ll have that data to know your next steps too. The resource to the right is for the book, Stellaluna. It is a comprehension check set that includes questions (drag and drop), skill based slides, and written responses. Well, teachers can use these after a read aloud or to guide discussion with groups.
ADDRESS SPECIAL EDUCATION AND SPEECH NEEDS
Another great thing about Boom Cards are that you can use the platform in unique ways to address the needs of students with special needs. Last fall, my nephew who has autism also developed a thyroid condition meaning monthly bloodwork to monitor his levels. Well, that presented a HUGE challenge for him. So much so that he was sedated for the first two or three draws. Well, I worked with his special education teacher to create a few social stories using Boom Learning because he loves using his iPad. Well, this resource helped a bunch especially with his teacher videotaping her blood draw and how to handle it. Of course other topics have come up too including schedule changes, high school behavior, communicating emotions, and dealing with frustration. Here is the link to these resources for those who might want to check them out.
EASY TO USE ANYWHERE
The last great thing about Boom Cards TM is that kids can use them on any electronic device, so if a parent has a cell phone, kids can do the activities on it. They also work on laptops and iPads too. Sometimes it’s tough for teachers to get a full class set to use, but the adaptability helps teachers with this struggle.
As you look ahead to the fall and planning for distance learning, I hope you’ll find Boom Cards TM as helpful as I have. Now is the time to get familiar with what’s available. You can start with the free account, try out a few of the decks (and I encourage you to be selective as not all free resources are equal). Once your convinced (and I know you will be), you can either purchase the premium level membership (well worth it for the data you get) or ask your school district to purchase it for you. If your district has Title One funding, you might ask about this purchase. I truly hope that you’ll enjoy using them.